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The majority of Texas' abortion clinics will close following a federal appeals court ruling.
According to the Associated Press, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decided yesterday to support a law signed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry which would require the state's abortion clinics to operate on hospital-like levels to remain open. The ruling, which took immediate effect, closed 13 clinics across the state, leaving only five. The Associated Press adds that western Texas and the area along the Mexico-Western border will be hit the hardest:
The impact stands to be felt most along the Texas-Mexico border and in the western half of the state, where access to a legal abortion is especially limited. The only abortion clinic in McAllen, which reopened after the lower court's ruling, now stands to close again. That would leave women in the Rio Grande Valley facing a 300-mile drive to the next-nearest abortion facility.
Abortion rights groups in the state are understandably dismayed by the ruling. "Today's ruling has gutted Texas women's constitutional rights and access to critical reproductive health care and stands to make safe, legal abortion essentially disappear overnight," explained Center for Reproductive Rights CEO Nancy Northrup.
Gawker notes that the state's remaining abortion clinics are located in San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, and Austin.
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